recently viewed

I'm really not doing a very good job of keeping track of all the movies I see. Which I'd love to do, as a kind of reference for later in my life (since I have lousy memory for titles etc). Maybe I need to set up a sidebar list or something.

Anyway, to catch up a little bit:
  • Meet the Fockers -- it was fine, I didn't think it was as hilarious as Meet the Parents, maybe because it's kind of sweet at its core. But I'm really enjoying the quirky Dustin Hoffman, whose characters in this one and in I Heart Huckabees seem to have some overlap.
  • The Aviator -- I enjoyed this so much more than I had expected. Since I knew very little about Hughes's life, and I'm not a fan of old movies, I wasn't disturbed by the idea of another actress playing the young Hepburn, or whatever. It's a long movie (maybe the 3rd close to 3 hour film I've seen in the past 6 weeks -- what's up with that?) but it's justified, being the story of a larger-than-life figure. DiCaprio actually gets a chance to act in this movie, too. It was really interesting seeing this one soon after Alexander -- to think about the qualities of "greatness" that make some historical figures interesting to later generations. The film focuses on the Hughes who set out to explore the air -- despite what everyone around him said, despite his losses. Kinda similar to Alexander. And, of course, it raises some interesting questions about the future of privatized space exploration. Hughes's inner demons, the obsessive-compulsive tendencies that eventually led him into deep paranoia, are represented as also part of what let him succeed where others hadn't. (Of course, a family fortune doesn't hurt either.) An interesting individual, and a really enjoyable film.Even for someone like me, who's not "into"airplanes, or Hepburn, or that time period especially.
  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou -- Blech. I should confess to only having seen 95 minutes of it -- we were waiting to get into the film we went to see. But I doubt my opinion would be radically altered by seeing the film's conclusion. I know, most serious film folks (which I'm not) love Wes Anderson -- and I remember liking Bottle Rocket when it first came out. But the rest of his movies just haven't done much for me. In short: this one seemed both narcissistic and misogynistic, without enough concept or humor to redeem those aspects.
  • Code 46 -- I missed this in the theatre, and I'm really sorry, now that I've seen it on DVD (just recently released). Directed by Michael Winterbottom, who has made such an interesting array of films -- Jude, Wonderland, 24-Hour Party People, and many others, each really different from the rest. This one is set in an unspecified future -- an interesting polyglot world, where national boundaries seem to be less important than whether you are registered in the system or "outside." A world (sort of like that in Gattaca) in which IVF, cloning, and genetic manipulation has become so prevalent for those in the system, that individuals must test their genetic code before being sexually active, because you could encounter someone who shared some of your own genetic material. That's just the backdrop, the set up for the plot -- a world with a strongly enforced redefined incest taboo which makes the central love story forbidden. But there's lots more going on in this film. Visually it's really stunning -- bleak and beautiful -- like Bladerunner painted by an Impressionist. Tim Robbins is wonderful as the middle-aged empath who finds himself in the awkward position of evading the system he's employed by. Samantha Morton shines, simply shines. (But, I can't resist a catty fashion remark. In this film, as in Minority Report and In America, Morton has really short hair, which looks fabulous on her. She's beautiful in a punky waifish sort of way. But in the commentary segment included on the DVD, she looks so incredibly bad. Like someone's grandma. Huge blue sunglasses and a frilly housedress thing, and poufy hair. It was truly horrifying to see what she looked like when she dressed herself. Unless she was in training for some upcoming frumpy role...)
  • 24 -- I don't watch a lot of TV, but I love good TV on DVD. Sometimes I don't have 2 hours, but 45 minutes I can spare for relaxing. We finally got around to renting the first disk of this series and got totally hooked. Grippingly suspenseful, and really interesting use of split screen techniques. I'm glad I never saw it on TV (I don't think we get that channel) because having to wait a week in between each episode would be torturous. Am now waiting for Netflix to send us the next disk, and that's only a two day turnaround.